Experts advise Dutch gov’t to allow six household guests during Christmas

The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) wants Netherlands residents to celebrate the Christmas holidays with just their family, limiting the number of household guests per day to six. People should also not leave their region, the team of experts said in advice to the government, published on Tuesday.

The OMT advised the government to really stress the risks involved in relaxing the rules around the holidays and that the coronavirus rules must be observed, particularly if you are seeing elderly or frail people. The OMT recommended extra measures when visiting the frail and elderly, including limiting contacts with other people in the 10 days before the planned visit.

The team stressed that relaxing the measures around the holidays entails a risk of new corona virus infections. “The more people come together, the higher the risk of transmission and resurgence of the epidemic. A decision on whether or not phase out measures temporarily during the holidays therefore remains a political consideration.”

The government has not yet made a decision on what the Christmas holidays will look like regarding the coronavirus lockdown. They will give more information on that front early in December, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said in a press conference on Tuesday.

RIVM epidemiologist Susan van den Hof told NU.nl that at the rate at which Covid-19 infections are currently falling, it will only be wise to relax measures in January. If you relax measures earlier, “you may very quickly end up in a third wave,” Van der Hof said.